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Five Mind-Blowing Content Marketing Tips for Economic Development

As place marketers, we know content marketing is tough work. By definition, content marketing focuses on creating, publishing and distributing content for a targeted audience online. But with so many stories to tell, it can be difficult to ensure your content is organized, consistent and strategic – all while establishing your credibility, gaining trust from your audience and strengthening your reputation.

If your economic development organization (EDO) is struggling to generate fresh content, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are five content marketing tips to help you enhance your approach.

1. Create with Intention

Be intentional about the content you create and post online. First and foremost, you should ask yourself what your goals are for a particular piece of content. Are you looking to address keyword gaps in your SEO? Will this blog help educate C-suiters about your talent pipeline? Will this video generate awareness about a particular innovation happening in your city?

No matter your intention, creating content and uploading it online without a goal is a waste of time and resources. Identifying the purpose and goal for your content will ensure you’re getting the most return on your investment. Your blogs, for example, might even offer an answer and supporting facts to a question like “How Can Small Communities Generate Investment Leads?

Every piece of content says something about your organization. We encourage you to think about what you’d like your content to say about your organization and location before you begin writing or creating.

2. Identify Your Audience

It’s likely you’ve identified your various target audiences in your content marketing strategy, but we recommend being mindful of your audience and asking yourself and your team, “who is this for?” Answering this question will help you understand what key messages you should weave throughout your content.

For example, if you were speaking to talent, it’s likely you’d highlight different advantages of your location than if you were talking to a small business owner. This boils down to the fact that each of your audiences have different pain points. For example, EDOs are concerned about talent and talent is concerned about cost of living and commute times. If you don’t know for whom you’re writing, you’re going to end up speaking to an empty theater. It’s important to recognize who you are speaking to before you begin writing so you can clearly deliver your message and keep your readers engaged.

Another trick to help shape your content is to create a user persona. If you attempt to create content with an audience of thousands of people in mind, you run the risk of creating diluted and overly generic content. Instead, think about a single person, their customer journey and what information they might want to know.

3. Master the Art of Repurposing

As content marketers, we’re always looking for ways to create better and smarter content. One of the ways we love to do that is to extract value from content that already exists. This means that you don’t necessarily have to start from scratch when you want to share content.

This could mean turning a blog into a short video, updating an existing blog with recent data and insights or creating a formal, downloadable PDF by combining existing research, success stories and blogs. What this means is that you’re giving your content a longer shelf life.

If you’ve been sharing several news articles and social media posts about your life sciences and health industry, re-package them into a single blog called, “10 Reasons Why [Your Location] is a Hub for Life Sciences and Health Innovation.” This type of list content can be applied to any topic that your organization has a handful of information on, such as “Five Things to Consider about Branding and Logo Development.

Utilizing user-generated content from local residents or businesses is another way to share authentic content without recreating the wheel. Tools like the Instagram repost app make it easy for EDOs to share other people’s content (while giving credit, of course) and get their message across. Plus, the resident or business you’re sharing from is a third-party endorsement to your location and organization.

4. Keep a Fresh Mindset

Content marketing strategies are not one size fits all and no one strategy can stand the test of time for too long. Which is why we recommend keeping up with the latest trends and news, and always welcoming new ideas.

When it comes to creating content, avoid just “going through the motions” by incorporating new elements into your existing strategy. To help bring a new blog post to life, consider incorporating a short video clip in place of an image or create a short teaser video to share on social media to promote the blog. The video creation is worth your while too. On Twitter, tweets with video see a 10X increase in engagement, compared to tweets that don’t.

Another option to help you form a strong narrative is to interview 2-3 companies in a particular industry for their stories and quotes to weave throughout the blog. This is a win-win situation. Why? You’re putting the company’s name and story out there and you’re receiving a company testimonial by capturing their praises about your organization and location.

5. Set Metrics for Success

When all is said and done, it’s crucial to measure the success of your content. This leads us to our fifth and final tip: set metrics for success. To bring it full circle to our first tip, creating content with intention, be sure to measure the success of your content. If you’re not tracking key metrics after you publish content, how can you be sure you’re intentionally creating engaging content?

While every EDO handles reporting a little differently, it’s important to keep an eye on metrics from your social media channels, e-newsletters and website. This data will help you gauge audience engagement and they can help inform future content decisions. For example, if you receive very high engagement rates on an agriculture video, you might want to consider creating more content and awareness about that particular industry.

If you’d like to discuss any of these tips or how we might help, our Digital, Brand & Creative Strategy team is here for you. Please reach out to Hanna Gbordzoe, Director of Content & Social, at [email protected]

Written By

Hanna Gbordzoe

Hanna Gbordzoe is Senior Director of Content & Social at DCI, overseeing social media, blogs and email marketing strategies and implementation for the firm’s clients.

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